Hindsight: Most underappreciated win and disappointing loss?

Submitted by MGoDC on March 14th, 2014 at 3:40 AM

With Iowa's loss today, it got me thinking that our loss at Iowa might have actually been our 2nd worst loss of the season besides Charlotte. At the time it was a brutal road game to a ranked team that we were not favored in, but looking at their collapse I think one could actually argue that @Indiana was a harder game given the environment.

As for most underappreciated win, I definitely think @Nebraska has to be the one here. At the time when we won on a final play that went our way, I remember sighing with relief that we didn't have something akin to @PSU last year. I was just happy to get out of there with the win and hoped Michigan would get it together. Looking back, it seems like @Nebraska was borderline muppetworthy. Probably the 4th biggest win of the year after @MSU and @Wisc and vs. MSU, maybe 3rd if people consider a win at Crisler over MSU to be less of an accomplishment but that depends on whether you value the rivalry or a road environment where the opposing team has a 15-0 record outside of your game.

Am I off the mark here on either of these games? I thought about @OSU because we haven't won there in so long but if Michigan had to win one more game again @OSU or @Neb I'd take our chances @OSU.



March 14th, 2014 at 3:57 AM ^

Arizona for the loss. Win that game (and if they don't shoot 100% from the line we do) and we're definitely playing for the #1 seed this weekend.

Mr. Yost

March 14th, 2014 at 9:04 AM ^

I disagree on both the Charlotte AND the Arizona loss.

Charlotte was early in the season when we were filling out our roles, some people thought LeVert was the #1 option, some thought it was GRIII...McGary was questonable during that period with the back.

We had no idea who we were or how to play together at that point. The Charlotte loss was necessary. We didn't even know who gets to take the last second shot in games (which is now always Stauskas unless it's a play at our end of the floor like Purdue). Watch the Charlotte game then go watch the game @Wisconsin and tell me you don't see at least 5 things we did wrong vs. Charlotte that we learned from to help us beat Wisconsin.

I also disagree with Arizona, that is where we learned how to CLOSE games. You have to play smarter and with a better sense of urgency in the last 4 minutes of a tight game. If you play the same way you were playing for the first 36 minutes and don't adjust...you'll lose.

We followed that Arizona loss where we got SUPER tight (you could just see it in their faces) with close wins over Stanford (neutral), @Minnesota, @Nebraska. If we don't learn from that Arizona game...this season could've looked A LOT different.

Young teams and more importantly, inexperiences teams HAVE to learn how to play at this level. Our best guys were ALL thrust into new roles and you could see they had no idea. Was it the guy with the #1 mentality? (Stauskas), was it the guy who everyone says is the best player on the team and a potential top 10 draft pick? (Robinson) Or was it the guy who to this point in this year was playing better than anyone on the team? (LeVert)....ORRR Were we supposed to wait until the guy who helped lead us to the Championship game returned?

Last year you knew it was Burke, then Hardaway, then everyone else. This year, we had NO clue and neither did they. Those early losses sucked, but they were necessary. If Stauskas doesn't play @Duke, I don't think he shows up @MSU the way he did. He also had to learn how to play being harrassed all game in a hostile environment...now when the entire student section is chanting U-S-A he buries 35 shots and stares every single person down in the stares with eyes that say "It's Canada. Bitch."

The most disappointing losses were the two where we didn't play with ANY kind of heart and energy, because you can control that. @Iowa and @Indiana were by far the most disappointing losses. The best wins were @Wisconsin and @MSU. And the most underapreciated wins were @Neb and @Minn.


March 14th, 2014 at 9:37 AM ^

I disagree with your disagreement!  It seems to me that you've defined the term dissapointing to mean "games that we didnt seem to play hard in" and if that is how we are looking at losses then yes, you are correct.

But I defined the term dissapointing to mean "game that if we had won would have meant the most to us RIGHT NOW" and given that Arizona was #1 in the country at the time and is currently on the one seed line I dont know how that loss cant be categorized as the one we'd most like to get back.  Win that game and I think we flip with them in seeding as we'd be 24-6 with a head-to-head win and they'd be 28-4.  And we'd be on the one line - not them.  I dont think the same could be said for any of our other losses but that one.

And I also disagree with your fundemental premise that young teams only "learn" through losses.  They also learn through wins and while the team undoubtably was still putting all the pieces together early you could see the maturation process occurring game by game.  I dont think it was a loss that taught them anything - I think it was just the sheer volume of games played togeter that defined their roles better and brought players like Walton into the forefront more.



March 14th, 2014 at 9:50 AM ^

The Charlotte game was just a Murphy's Law situation.  It was the championship game of the tourney, so we were playing on tired legs, affecting our shooting.  Then, both Robinson and Stauskas got hurt during the game.  Nik came back into the game but was clearly gimpy.  So at that point in the early season, we were trying to overcome the losses of three starters from the previous year (Burke, Hardaway and GRIII) and the two remaining guys (Stauskas and McGary) were hobbled.  In November, before guys like Walton and Irvin had settled in, that was too much.  



San Diego Mick

March 14th, 2014 at 4:04 AM ^

I clicked on to jump in and say that the @Neb win and the Charlotte loss as my answers and I see you beat me to it!

But make no mistake about it, every win is appreciated greatly by me and there were many....many significant wins this year. Losing to Charlotte pisses me off because of the overall record thing and trying to get a 1 Seed.

If we beat Charlotte, 24-6 and potentially 27-6 is somehow way better than 26-7, amazing how that works. Losing to AZ still pisses me off and if we were to play AZ at home right now, we would win that game, in the NCAA's, it would be a great game.

Had we won those 2 games where we lost both by a basket, our record would be 25-5 right now. We have a dangerous team no matter what though, Coach B has proven to be a tough out in the tourney and now he has talent.

I'm expecting great things again, sweet 16 is very possible and elite 8 or better would be cool with me. We have great guard play, many guys that can handle the rock and a really good shooting team with numerous guys who can score, that's what you call a nightmare for opponents.

If we come to play any kinda of defense and rebound decently, we can win against anyone.


March 14th, 2014 at 11:28 AM ^

Since there is a possibility that we may not see him again in our uniform. I want to see a full season of his unique skills on display just so I am able appreciate what the kid is able to do. I won't begrudge him if he went, I just don't want to miss watching that potential unfold in front of us.


March 14th, 2014 at 5:41 AM ^

The nice thing about this Michigan team is how much it has grown and improved over the season.  Part of that is that the team is so young, but part of it is also the coaching.  If Michigan were to play Charlotte now, I think it's fair to say, there's little chance Charlotte is even is close, let alone wins the game.  The loss at Indiana really sucked, but the advantage of playing in a tough league is helping to expose areas that need to be worked on to improve.


March 14th, 2014 at 11:12 AM ^

temperature != heat

1000 suns would produce 1000x the amount of heat, in the form of thermal radiation, even though the temperature of each inidividual sun would be no hotter than a single sun (if we ignore for the moment the fact that they'd heat each other). If the 1000 suns were arranged at 1AU such that Earth was in full view of each, then yes, Earth would get really damn hot.

Of course there's not really a stable way for 1000 suns to arrange themselves like that. And if you're talking about a single star with the mass of 1000 suns, then no, the heating at 1AU would probably not be 1000x  greater.


March 14th, 2014 at 6:53 AM ^

I would agree with mGrowOld actually - for me, the most disappointing loss when it comes to the season's entire resume might very well be Arizona. We came pretty close to winning as it was, and if we do, the seeding discussions for March Madness might very well be somewhat altered. 

I would also agree with the OP here on the underappeciated win - that's the away game at Nebraska for me as well. It showed that we could overcome when things weren't exactly firing on all cylinders, and in a conference schedule where the average scoring margin for Michigan was +6.8 points, we spent some time on edge and ofter prevailed. 

Darker Blue

March 14th, 2014 at 7:22 AM ^

I was pretty dissapointed with losing to dook

The most under appreciated win was probably the first win against Minnesota, it seemed like it was in that game, the team really started to gel. 

Best win was for sure beating staee in East Lansing. 


March 14th, 2014 at 8:40 AM ^

Most dissapointing loss: McGary

Most Underappreciated Win: Beilein switching Stauskas and Walton in running the pick and roll.

Wait, what was the question?



March 14th, 2014 at 8:55 AM ^

To me, the amazing thing is the resiliancy of the team and the number of B1G road wins they were able to accumulate.

The mantra is always:

  • Win at home
  • Win the ones you're supposed to
  • Try to steal one or two on the road

Losing the *way* we lost to Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin was disheartening, but remember that for these kids, the conference season is a slog.  The fact that we did lose to those teams isn't worthy of any shame -- other than Wichita State, pretty much everyone has some lapses.

When you look at every B1G road win except Illinois, there's a way those games could have gotten away from them, but they perservered.

As for the most disappointing loss, I think Duke.  At that point, the team was exposed as a not fully-formed team. 

That being said, they could have collapsed.  Instead, they rallied...


March 14th, 2014 at 9:30 AM ^

Charlotte is the only one of the year. 

We lost 3 games in a parity driven Big 10, and cleared the conference by 3 games.   All the teams we lost to were at the top to middle of the division.  You are not going to run through the Big 10 undefeated short of THJ and Burke returning.

We lost 4 games out of conference; two to top 5ish type teams in Duke and Arizona and one to top 15ish team ISU.  One more basket and AZ is a win not a lose - not disappointing.  Duke we were outplayed with a lineup full of "weird people" and ISU in retrospect is a pretty darn good team.

At the time we had TWO returning starters, a FRESHMAN PG starting which usually leads to bad things early.  We had to rebuild a team unlike many teams not named Kentucky or Kansas or UNC - look around at our competition at MSU Wiscy et al, they brought back most of their team...came out strong, knew how to play with each other, have more than 1 position on the entire team that has guys who are upperclassmen.

Early we were looking at Caris converting from "cute 7th/8th man" to relied upon starter, and mostly Horford as the starter with Mitch in and out of the lineup.  So we were expected to start slow as we only returned 3 starters (Mitch included) and break in Caris and Walton.  We ended up not really even having that luxury of 3 starters.  At the front of the season we expected Nik, Mitch, and GR3 to lead the team - Caris Caris was a nice gumby type player we hoped to get 8 ppg per so a game as he made the traditional decent sized growth from freshman to sophomore. Nik was not slated to be a NBA player nor Caris challenge for 1st team all BIg 10  - that was for Mitch and GR3.  The former we never got much out of due to his injuries and the latter became option #3 on the team as he did not make the jump most assumed - instead those quantum leaps came from Nik and Caris. Morgan at the time was a backup who had lost his job to both Mitch and Horford.

The more this season is analyze the more amazing it becomes in terms of the growth of the team and individual players through the year.  And who stepped up in the end, versus expectations at the beginning.

Best win at Wisconsin as @Breslin has become a pretty easy place to play this year. :P  It was also at a stretch where many of us were saying "survive the guantlet 1-3 or at best 2-2".


March 14th, 2014 at 9:18 AM ^

Most underappreciated win for me was definitely Nebraska. UM was the only team to win at Nebraska, that's an impressive home record with UM as the only blemish.

Most disappointing loss for me would be at Indiana. I know that place is tough and Yogi Ferrell had his game of all games, but to me it just did not look like we were playing our best game at all, and that's frustrating as a fan. I don't know what is inside our players' heads, why it seems like some games they come out with such energy and determination and other games it seems like they'd rather be at the mall.



March 14th, 2014 at 9:43 AM ^

The majority of us (myself included) predicted doom and gloom after that 1 point win at Nebraska. Amazing to think about that now.

The Arizona game... I still wonder how that game would have ended had McGray not been called for...breathing too hard on a Wildcat player, which gave them the game winning free throws. If the refs don't suck, that game might have gone to OT.


March 14th, 2014 at 10:47 AM ^

Most disappointing loss -- has got to be Charlotte.  I hear commentary that even if we make the BTT finals, we can still end up a three.  There's no way in hell that happens if we beat Charlotte. 

Most underappreciated win -- got to agree on the Nebraska road win.  At the time, our view on it was "ugh, that was ugly, but any road win in the B1G is a good one".  Since then, Nebraska has gone 11-7 in the B1G.  Both UM and Nebraska vastly exceeded their expected win total.


March 14th, 2014 at 1:25 PM ^

that changing a loss to a win affects absolutely nothing about how the rest of the season plays out...then Arizona is it. 

And the most underrated win is probably definitely @MSU. Not from an M-fan perspective (we sure as shit don't underrate that win), but from a non-M-fan national perspective. The first thing anyone will say about it is "But...injuries, man" as if that somehow invalidates the fact that Michigan won against their archrival (in basketball) at their arena while they were ranked #3 and had only 1 loss on the season against UNC. Especially considering that game was the catalyst for Michigan eventually winning the big ten and MSU derping down the stretch.


March 14th, 2014 at 4:49 PM ^

I think I put too much stock in the butterfly effect, because I always think: well, if we won against Charlotte, maybe we lose against Osu. Indiana last year is a good confirmation for my theory